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CRI2211 Crime, Justice and the Media

Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Law and Justice
Grading basis : Graded
Course fee schedule : https://www.unisq.edu.au/current-students/administration/fees/fee-schedules
Version produced : 28 January 2023


The media, in all its forms, is a central feature of everyday life in today’s society. Television, news and social media dominate the dissemination of information, driven by political and social agendas. In particular, both factual and fictional depictions of crime and criminals feature regularly in the media as well as the criminal justice system’s responses. Research shows that public perceptions about crime, criminals and the criminal justice system are predominantly influenced by the media. In addition to the media being a portal for framing crime in particular ways, ever changing and evolving media technologies also provide new ways of ‘doing crime’. Criminological studies of crime and the media form an essential component to students’ learning about how crime is portrayed, perceived and responded to. Due to the intensified use and reliance upon media in more recent decades, crime and the media studies are central to the major in criminology and criminal justice.

Crime and the media share a relationship that is both complex and inter-influential. On the one hand crime, in all its various forms, inspires and influences both factual and fictional depictions of crime within society. On the other hand, modern media platforms have given rise to crimes being perpetrated in new and innovative ways. Together, the use of media to represent, as well as perpetrate crime, has the greatest influence on people's perceptions of crime salience, and the extent to which people fear crime. In this course, students will be introduced to theoretical perspectives applied to explain the connection between crime and the media, and the tendency for the media to sensationalise crime. The portrayal of particular crime types and particular offender types as described in criminological literature as moral panics and folk devils will also be examined, along with media constructions of the `deserving' or `undeserving' victim. Connected intricately to crime, criminals, victims is the criminal justice system. As a formal agency that exists to prevent, detect, and respond to crime and criminals, media representations of the criminal justice system form a key component to students' learning throughout this course.

Course offers

Study period Mode Campus
Semester 1, 2022 Online
Date printed 28 January 2023